I moved to Tri-Cities 26 years ago and I have never attended a boat race event. I used to work in retail so I was scheduled to work during that weekend for the first five years that I lived here. I was never interested on attending, because I would hear comments such as "How did you survive the races?" from one old folk to another. Or others would say "We are going out of town to avoid the traffic." So I thought that it was a horrible event that should be avoided. I also would hear that the youth behaved rather degenerately, and although I was young I wanted to avoid temptation.
But working in retail, I would get to meet people from other places during boat race weekend. It seemed that our clientele traffic increased with folks from different parts of the state and from other states during that scorching weekend. I remember seeing a delightful couple only once a year during the boat race weekend. I enjoyed their attitude and the conversations I had with them each year. I also recall meeting people from Montana, Idaho and, of course, from the west side of Washington.
It intrigued me that we would hold an event big enough that it attracted a wide range of people. I felt, and I still feel, that during that weekend we get to have a party (as a community). So my favorite part of boat race weekend is meeting folks from other parts.
-- ISABEL SAMANIEGO, Pasco